Life and Thyme!

Posts tagged ‘embroidery’

15 for 2015- December

Inspired by Laura at Made in Oxford I set myself some goals for 2015. Looking at the post I wrote to go with them when I drew up the list I think I knew then that my family was not through the darkest of days. I clearly knew that I would need the support of others, that I would have a temptation to hunker down and would need to push myself to do nice things for myself and others. The list was achievable and fun and did indeed get me through 2015, so I could support others and come out of the other side , ready for 2016. I get ahead of myself. Here’s the last update for 2015.

15 minutes walk x 4 times a week, I eventually felt that I lacked ambition on this one but in the early days going out for 15 minutes was an achievement.

14 bags to a charity shop- When my Dad died and we put his house on the market I knew the temptation would be to fetch too much home and become a hoarder who couldn’t get in the front door for stuff. Little did I know it would take so long to sell his house. Fingers crossed we actually do so very very soon. I have 6 more bags from his house ready to go to charity shops as I write, but decided a couple of weeks ago to do the unthinkable. I took a bag of yarn to a charity shop asking for wool. It hurt! Deep down I knew it was surplus to my requirements, but still it hurt and when Mr E said WHY ARE YOU TAKING WOOL? it was all I could do to go through the doors and hand it over.

13 animal photos. Easy to take pictures of animals, but hard to take good ones. I achieved this quite early on , but kept going because it was such fun. My favourite is on the Page “15 for 2015,” but it was hard choosing just one. The family of ducklings were just so sweet,  this one really made me laugh a dog at the Malton Food Festival.

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He so wanted to Jump, the food on the stall below smelt so delicious.

12 meeting ups with friends and family- I really appreciated how good it was just to be with other people and not just sitting at home worrying about stuff. And I got to meet fellow blogger Rachel from The Little Room of Rachell.

11 New savoury recipes tried– well I tried 11 and some more. However I had a tendency to change ingredients or add them according to our taste with the result that they tasted like inferior versions of meals we already liked. Only one was a total disaster.

10 handwritten letters sent- and of course ten letters written back to me, which was just lovely.

9 handmade cards made and sent- loved doing this and the recipients said nice things about them.

8 Sewing or embroidery projects done. Loved this one too. Here are the hand stitched gifts that went to my secret Santa partner.

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A little box onto which I embroidered a woodland scene. This was my favourite piece all year long as it came straight from my heart.

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A lavender heart which I also embroidered.

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I made this little box into which I put

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a Dorset button brooch.

7 new yarns tried. I failed here, only trying two , mostly because I couldn’t find any but also because I make garments for children and their Mums/Dads like them to be machine washable.

6 Trips to museums/theatre/ cinema etc. Just wonderful to go out for the day and see new places, so often prompted on where to go by the Photo Challenge. So glad I have got to collaborate with three others on the 52 week photo challenge for 2016.

5 projects for charity. Completed this one this month with a blanket for memory boxes for bereaved parents.23.12.15 002

Still a bit curly and in need of more blocking.

4 new walks- achieved but not as long as I’d hoped for, due to damaging my heel in Greece. By the way it doesn’t hurt so much now except if  I stand on it for a long time. Hopefully longer walks will be possible soon.

3 Craft workshops- well I couldn’t find any I fancied so instead I built on ones I had attended before and did three projects inspired by workshops from previous years.

2 New cities visited- not the two I expected, mostly due to not being able to link my schedule to others. Salisbury was wonderful.

1 railway journey- not the one I expected, but I did travel by train, twice in both directions. And it was a good experience. Always next year.

0 impulse purchases- I wrote very thorough shopping lists all year!! But still failed and it was Charity Shops wot did it! Jugs , books and magazines. Could have been worse.

So here ends 2015.Have a very good New Years’ Eve and see you in 2016

 

 

 

15 for 2015-March

How the months are passing. Hard to believe we are a quarter of the year gone already. Winter has passed to Spring, and March winds are oh so true today. The dustbins have blown over and a bird feeder broke overnight.

So how have I got on with my 15 for 2015. Slowly!

15 minutes walk x 4 times a  week. Yes, accomplished again this month. I should have set the bar higher I think.

14 bags to a charity shop. I took four today, whoopee. That makes 5 in total.

13 animal photos. OH MY! Now I know why one should never work with children or animals. Animals look very photogenic one moment and the next , well blow me down they move!! But there have been a few good occasions for animal photos.

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The hunt exercising the hounds in the snow.

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I took about 20 shots of chickens this month and this is the best one!!!

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I love this dog keeping guard, and he does have a big woof! I think I may have alarmed him?

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One farm cat! There were three but all I got of the other two was tails or empty spaces. I think this one sat still to get rid of me!

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Horse eating hay. It would not turn round and even when I went the other side of it , it turned its back on me. OK I can take the hint.

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Never try taking white geese in snow, this is what you get. Look closely.

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Now he is my best shot this month. I am only counting four of these pictures towards my total. That makes 6, but could do better.

12 meetings with friends. I met my lovely blogging friend Rachel

11 Savoury recipes. Now this has been a revelation to me this month. I have made two new Jamie Oliver  recipes. A pasta and pepper dish and a chicken korma. Both scrummy and added to my repertoire. And Mushrooms  in a Stilton and garlic  cream.  I made two portions in  ramekin dishes and served with homemade bread. We had it for lunch but it would make a super starter. Now this is so delicious that here is a link to the recipes from the  BBC.

In looking for new recipes I have had out all my cookery books and found recipes I tried once, liked but not tried again. So I have cooked lots of dinners from my once only recipes. And in spending more time choosing, researching, shopping for ingredients and cooking the dinners, I have really started to enjoy cooking our evening meal. When I worked it was a real chore night after night, what shall we have, what have we got etc etc. I have now actually found myself looking forward to 5pm when I start to make dinner.

Anyway total of new recipes tried this year 5. And mushrooms consumed in Stilton sauce- three lunches!

10 handwritten letters. Still just one. When I have some cheerful news it will be easier to put pen to paper.

9 Handmade cards. Two birthday cards and a mothers day card. 7 altogether. I think this will be the first of my 15 ticked off.

8 Sewing or embroidery projects.

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I finally completed this cross stitch picture, called “As far as we go”. A DMC kit, began more than a little while ago. ( Maybe 6 years!!)

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And a little ribbon embroidery kit. Purchased from Crafty Ribbons more years ago than I care to own up too. (2003!!!)

That makes three.

7 new yarns. No just the one still.

6 Trips to museums, art galleries, theatres, etc.  I went to the local craft show which was surprisingly good and even bought a birthday present for Ms G, but this was not what I had in mind when I began this list, so doesn’t count.

5 Projects for charity. Well I volunteered for another charity project via the blog world, but no-one came back to me. Second time I offered my skills to no avail. Struggling with this one.

4 new walks- still just the one

3 craft workshops- no

2 New cities- just Salisbury last month

1 railway journey- no

0 impulse purchases- so far so good!

Love to hear if you have made progress on any goals you set yourself this year.

Easter is just round the corner, hoping for better things and some good news next month.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Busy!

I think we are all busy this month, certainly if you are a crafter it is time for a bit of overdrive. Here’s what I have been up to this last week.

I went to a half day workshop for Christmas decorations. It was a little disappointing in that we only got to make item but it is quite sweet. A ribbon Christmas tree.

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Basically a polystyrene  cone with folds of ribbon pinned in. The strips are 6 cms long and pinned by holding the long edges right sides one on top of each other. Approx 3 metres in two colours needed for  a 14cm cone.Mine is only 12cm so I adjusted the amounts.

Next I have started to fill the little baskets I bought at the stitching show with rosebuds and decorating the lid with a ribbon and button. I shall be using my homegrown lavender in the screaming boxes.

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From the top

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And finally I completed the tunic I was knitting for Miss F which is miles too big and won’t be her size for another year I think!!

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If you have enjoyed my Creative Embroidery posts and the Stitched Project I have started a new blog for them . I posted my November Stitching project on there which you can find at avoicethroughstitchhere

And now I am heading to Handmade Harbour for crafty inspiration.

Love to know what you have been making this week.

Autumn leaf project update

First of all a big thank you to everyone who helped me out with comments on my Autumn Leaf stitching project last month. Your suggestions were really helpful. So what did I do? Well, I painted up some more yellow fabric and made some more leaves. I then used machine embroidery to quilt the piece and  added veins to the bigger leaves. Then I made it into a cushion. I do like a cushion!!

Here we go -adding the big new leaf to the centre.

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Adding the leaf veins

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You can see the machine embroidery too. I really really loved doing this part, I went over and over the fabric loving the texture I was creating.

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A little yellow leaf. and the final cushion

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I learned such a lot from making this.  I did machine embroidery and it wasn’t scary, it was fun. Design.. have I finally learned that I should plan things put properly before plunging in. This is still on the messy side,too much is well too much!  I don’t think I have finished with autumn leaves by a lone chalk, but less is more.

Mr E still didn’t ask about the pile of leaves in the fireplace. They remained looking lovely, as a result of pressing them between newspapers. I burnt them ceremoniously when I stitched the last stitch. And he hasn’t said a word about the new cushion… being polite or merely unobservant?

Meantime I have started , well am starting a new blog called A voice through stitch which you can access by hoovering over my name top right hand  corner. Or by clicking here I will be posting my next Stitching Project on there very soon. I felt that these rather personal stitching responses to the world around me don’t quite fit in my NanaCathy blog hence the new blog. As always I am technically challenged with what I am trying to do , but hopefully the new blog will be ok. Love it if you went for a visit in the next week or so when I make my first stitch post. Thanks.

Once again thanks for the comments on my autumn leaves and if you care to leave another, well that would make me very happy.

 

Stitching Journal- October

October has been mild and a little damp. However, I have enjoyed many an autumn walk, collecting some leaves which I dried and have used as inspiration for this months Stitching Project.

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I love the way these leaves look en masse.  So I began by painting ,using fabric paints ,onto a piece of washed calico. I applied bondaweb. Then I cut out leaf shapes, placed them onto my backing fabric and started to sew. I was after an effect like the photograph above.

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Now the overall effect is not to my liking yet.

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Individually I like the leaves

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but the middle bit lacks definition

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My thought is that it needs a yellow leaf in the middle.So do I paint up more fabric and make a large leaf like the colours here

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or do I use this yellow fabric for a leaf?

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Or do I just leave it alone ( pun not intended!) Do I apply wadding to the back and quilt? Do I just try to define some of the leaf shapes more, add some veins? Really would appreciate all thoughts and comments.

Linking with Lola Nova

 

Felt Embroidery Update!

Back in my August Stitching project I shared my attempt at embroidering on handmade felt , all inspired by my slightly unusual love of moss. I wasn’t happy at the result. Two things happened. I followed up the advice to try needlefelting  and I went to a local Art exhibition. At this event a well known local amateur artist had entered a felt landscape of a local beauty spot. And she was offering it for sale at £45. I don’t want to say anything about this , except I went home and thought my attempt maybe wasn’t as bad as I thought!

Having made three needlefelt birds I attacked my moss felt with the needle, and this firmed it all up very nicely. Next I neatened up the edges. And now I am slowly embroidering onto the surface,and I am really enjoying the process.

So now I am ready to share my progress.

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Beginning to look a little better.

Some details.

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Chain stitch

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I’ve added some pre felt and buttonhole stitched over it

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Buttonhole circles

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You can see on this picture that where  the felt has been needlefelted it is much firmer and dense . I shall keep going with this after all.

Thanks for all comments last time and the suggestion to needlefelt.All thoughts are very welcome. And just in case anyone wonders, I have not asked for Mr E’s input!!

Stitching Journal – August

I was attracted to the Stitching Journal  project by the idea of trying new techniques and my own ideas.I was unprepared for just how challenging that would be for me.

We all have to decide how much of what we blog is a “shop window” dressed up to show us off in a good light, and how much is the REAL ME?  We filter our own truth, but if we share something that means a lot to us and we have laboured over , then the real us will be there whether we like it or not. And if we let people see the real us, will we get a negative re action? Scary stuff.

Which is a very convoluted way of saying I really did not know whether I would share the piece I have been working on this month. But at the very least I want to be true to me so… and besides which, it is no big deal after all. Except to me it is, the whole stitching journal is a big deal to me. It has taken me out of my comfort zone.

Here’s what happened.

I had taken down all my moss inspiration pictures last month. Up on the board now are a set of pictures which mean a lot to me. I have already lived with them through August, frightened ,yes frightened on how to interpret this idea in stitch.  So I went back to moss having had two ideas of what I wanted to try, and had only tried one in July. This turned into quite a learning experience

I love moss, the way it looks, grows and the texture and it was the texture which was missing from my July piece. It wasn’t soft enough. So, I decided to make felt and stitch onto the felt. Here comes a frustrating part. I had attended felt workshops a couple of years ago, but needed to brush up my how to knowledge. Down to the library I went, yes I could have looked on the internet but a book is just, well more satisfactory. Only all the books they had had on felt had GONE, replaced with endless crochet toys books. Aaagh!  Big search back home  to locate the notes I had from the workshops. So far so good.

Next to the shop I knew sold wool for felt making- located within a craft workshop in a farm shop. Aaaagh! It had gone, replaced by a “Gift Shop” , the sort that sells Country style nic nacs all the way from China…

To the Internet, where I discovered Adelaide Walker and within a couple of days I had a lovely big bag of green merino wool for felt making. Five different shades of green. Perfect.

I could begin. If you have never made felt it is just lovely, bubble wrap, lots of hot water, soap and arm exercise. I had a really therapeutic Sunday afternoon.

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That’s all the wool layered up ready to make felt. Bit of pink and yellow for litchen etc.. Artistic license

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The first bit was a bit flimsy, so I made another. Now what?  I wanted to manipulate it to give it the springy tussocky appearance of a mossy dell. But how? I searched through my books, my magazines , I came across a lot of articles showing what I wanted to do in calico but not in felt. I was on my own.

So I got a piece of calico and some wadding. I attached the flimsier piece to the calico so that it would fold over the second piece.

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Then I stuffed under some toy stuffing

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and pinned it down.

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And began to stitch it using ordinary sewing thread and running stitch.

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I decided to try some wrapping of thread using tapestry wool , to indicate tree roots.

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And then I added some chain stitches using some wool from my stash

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Lots of colours, very pretty, can’t say where I got it from I have had it so long.

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Gradually ideas have begun to form in my head as to just what could be done by sculpturing felt. I am certain somewhere there must be a book about sculpturing with felt. It really does lend itself to being molded and manipulated.

Now I don’t need to show this to Mr E to be told it leaves a lot to be desired , which is why I had such reservations about posting this first attempt. And should I stop stitching on it… it just is so relaxing to stitch something so soft and so , well certainly not functional, but very tactile.

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So there we have it -a first attempt at moss in felt…

I learned a lot about making felt- it takes much longer than you think to get it to felt and not to be economical with the wool.

I can see lots of possibilities for what I was trying to do, which needs more careful thought, I am not good at careful thought.

I like to have a practical use for things and probably should get over this, sometimes it is about the experience and the skill and not about a finished product. I should accept that I can’t do everything just the way I want it first time.

And this project is about challenging myself to find my own voice and sometimes it is going to be hard going.

So that’s my Stitching Project for August.

Linking with the lovely Lola Nova for the August Stitching Journal

 

 

 

 

 

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